Mocs fall just short at home 50-49 to Austin Peay
The Chattanooga Mocs had one more chance to pull out a victory Sunday afternoon at the Roundhouse, but a last second shot by Lakelyn Bouldin was just shy of the bucket and UTC fell 50-49 to Austin Peay in women’s basketball action.
The Govs missed a pair of free throws and the Mocs grabbed the rebound, calling a quick time out to advance the ball with 2.5 seconds to play. Bouldin took the ball out in the side right in front of her bench and got it in to Abbey Cornelius on the wing. Cornelius fed it back to Bouldin who fought around the defense and got off an off-balanced shot that hit off the front of the rim.
“We were looking for Eboni on the back door,” Chattanooga head coach Katie Burrows said. “The next option was to hit Abbey for a handoff. I thought she had time for a quick dribble-pull up under control. Those are things in the pressure of the moment you just have to learn from it. Next time, when we are in this situation again, we will be able to execute and come out on top.”
In the fourth quarter, Chattanooga trailed 50-43 with 3:37 to play and went 6-of-6 from the free throw line to pull to within a point with 17 seconds to play.
Following Austin Peay’s final field goal of the game, Cornelius grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled when she tried to put it back up. Her two made free throws made it a 50-45 game with 3:26 to play.
The Govs’ Tahanee Bennell committed her fourth foul on the offensive end of the court resulting in a turnover. That put Bria Dial at the line for two more free throws, making it 50-47 with 2:54 on the clock.
Austin Peay had four shot attempts miss over the next 1:20 with four offensive boards before Eboni Williams was fouled while grabbing the rebound off the fifth missed shot and headed to the stripe. Her two free throws put Chattanooga within a point, 50-49 with 57 seconds to play.
After committing just one foul in the first 9:03 of the fourth quarter, UTC was called for four straight putting Ella Sawyer on the line to try to stretch the lead. She missed both attempts and Dial grabbed the defensive rebound and immediately called for time to advance the ball.
The Mocs got the ball in Bouldin’s hands, but her layup attempt was thwarted and the Govs’ got the rebound. A UTC foul on the rebound, once again put Sawyer at the line. She would miss both attempts again and, with 2.5 seconds to play, the Mocs once again advanced the ball to try to win, but the attempt fell just short.
Chattanooga was 10-of-19 in the opening half but ended the contest 16-of-44 (36.4%) from the field and made just three from beyond the arc. However, the free throw line was UTC’s friend Sunday with the Mocs making a season-best 14-of-15. On the boards, UTC outdueled the Govs 44-38 but gave up 24 points on 28 turnovers.
“The bottom line is we can’t win a ball game if we can’t take care of the ball,” Burrows said. “They got 23 more opportunities to score than we did and only hit three more shots than we did.”
Lakelyn Bouldin led Chattanooga with 15 points and eight rebounds. She was 5-of-16 with a pair from distance and made all three free tosses and passed Karen Mills (1978-81) for 22nd on the Mocs’ all-time list.
Williams just missed a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds while leading UTC with three steals. Ruona Uwusiaba had six points and seven rebounds with two blocked shots. Dena Jarrells added six points including a steal on an inbounds play for back-to-back layups in the first half. Bria Dial added seven boards for the Mocs and Cornelius had five.
Austin Peay was 19-of-67 (28.4%) from the field and held to just five 3-pointers, well below their 12.2 average per game, and made just 7-of-16 from the free throw line.
Arielle Gonzalez-Varner had a game-high 18 points for Austin Peay and five boards. Sawyer contributed seven points and a team-best eight rebounds. Kasey Kidwell had seven points and three assists.
Chattanooga will remain home this week to host Northern Colorado Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are available for this midday matchup online at GoMocs.com.